In 2016, Sprint announced discontinuation of its business wireline services effective June 30, 2017. This decommissioning includes long distances services for domestic and international 1+ dialing along with other legacy services. AVOXI receives many calls weekly from current and former Sprint customers questioning this action and asking about options for service replacement. Based on common questions asked, this blog post covers options for international service replacement of an impacted Sprint offering.
How can I select the correct replacement service?
Toll free numbers vary in their coverage and accessibility. The range of numbers include: international toll free numbers (ITFS), universal international freephone numbers (UIFN), domestic toll free numbers (DTF), shared cost numbers, and vanity numbers. Are you seeking to maintain the exact coverage you had with Sprint? Typical numbers are international toll free or domestic toll free.
AVOXI compiled, “Your Complete Guide to International Toll Free Numbers,” to clarify the differences in toll free numbers and enable you to make a knowledgeable business decision. Key questions as you access your needs are:
- Where are your customers located?
- Where is your business located?
- How are calls answered?
The guide walks you through the different types of numbers and likely restrictions. It includes a simple worksheet to help you decide what works best for your business requirements.
Do I have to change my number?
It depends. Some international numbers are portable to a new provider and some are not. The type of number and the country dictate number portability.
For a US toll free number, you can go through a Resporg (Responsible Organization) process. Resporg refers to a business maintaining registration for US toll free numbers. More than 350 carriers, brokers, and toll free service providers participate. As a member, AVOXI frequently handles transferring toll free numbers for our customers. A completed Letter of Authorization from you and your new carrier initiates the process. The transfer generally takes 3-7 business days. There is no charge for this service.
Another process, NASC (Number Administration Service Center), forces the porting of your number from one carrier to another. There are some pitfalls to this process such as the per-number fee. The process typically takes 24 hours for blocked or non-operational numbers and 7-10 days for in-service numbers.
AVOXI VoIP Specialists have the experience to walk you through your options and help you make an informed choice. In some instances, the better option is to purchase a new phone number. That’s an option to consider if your Sprint number is no longer operational and you seek alternatives.
Do I have to change my current phone system?
No. Replacement toll free number services work with your existing phone system and set up. Forward your new or ported international number to a local number that terminates to your existing phone solution. Alternatively, SIP trunks, and the corresponding IP address, provide a direct connection to your onsite or cloud-based IP PBX. Both traditional forwarding and SIP trunking are available from international number providers. Most providers offer an online portal for self-service and management of your new number.
What features are available with a replacement number?
Business-class features are a standard with most VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) or virtual phone number. Your international service replacement through a VoIP provider typically allows you flexibility in routing, controls and number management. Key communication features include call recording, call logs, call routing, forwarding services, SIP trunking, Call Barring, Call Screening and Extension Management. Most carriers also offer a softphone and no additional hardware requirements.
How Do I Choose the Right Provider?
Choose the provider that best meets your business requirements. Do you need help with porting? Does the provider have that experience? What does the provider offer? Only domestic toll free in the US? International? Check each provider’s number availability and associated call features.
Be sure you understand the provider’s customer support accessibility and escalation protocols if you have a problem. Additionally, ask if the selected features you want are add-ons that come at an additional charge or are they part of the standard service.
AVOXI has customers in more than 50 countries and 16+ years of experience in providing cloud communication services. We can help you transition your number to best serve your business needs. Talk to a representative today and schedule a demo.